NASCAR »

Patrick talks about first big Cup wreck

Patrick was in a unique position to compare the experience of crashing in a NASCAR Car of Tomorrow as opposed to an Indy car.

"In an Indy car I feel like your belts are tighter. You are really tight in an Indy car mostly because even for the lateral load that you get in the corner you can't be moving around at all," she said. "As far as the impact goes, there is a little less room to move around in an Indy car and you are very confined ... In an Indy car if your arm hits the side it's literally hitting the side of the car, the side of the tub. There is just a lot less room to fly around.

"When you hit in an Indy car you hit quick. There is a lot less recoil I feel like. It's like you hit and you slide along the wall," she explained. "Oddly enough, the impacts feel kind of bigger in a stock car. I think it is because of the room you can move and that the cars bounce a little bit more when they hit. They don't just crush and slow down. There is a bounce there."

She cited the big hit she took very early in her IndyCar career when she crashed at the Milwaukee Mile in 2005. "I spun in one and two in the Indy car. I hit back in and back in two and it spun around and it hit on the inside wall and that second hit felt bigger than the first hit. Sometimes the aftershocks are the parts that hurt a little bit."

Demonstrating the difference in racing cultures between open wheel and stock car competition, Patrick was questioned about why she had released the steering wheel ahead of the car making impact against the SAFER barrier - an instinctive action for an IndyCar driver that perplexed NASCAR fans.

"No, I wasn't covering my eyes!" she laughed off suggestions from the media. "But yes, I did close them as I got to the wall. I didn't want my eyes to pop out of my head.

"In Indy cars we learn to take the hands off the wheel because the holes for your hand are even smaller and we have dashes and the wheel flips," she said. "I've had plenty of times where I have bruised my thumb, my bones, on the wheel. I was trained to, when there is no saving it and no hope, you let go. That is what I did yesterday."

She added that the safety crews had approved of her instincts. "I was just talking to medical on the way in here actually and he was giving me some 'at a girl' on doing that because all kinds of things can happen the more you connect yourself with stuff," she said.

The level of intensity of the questions - What was she doing with her hands? Was she covering her eyes? - shows just how much intense scrutiny Danica comes under in the sport. But she insisted that she didn't resent the attention or want it to diminish anytime soon.

"I feel very lucky to be in the situation that I'm in. I feel lucky to be unique and different," she insisted. "I enjoy being different. I enjoy being unique. I enjoy it all. I really do. I chose to look at the positives that come with it instead of the negatives, but it is a balance. The ups are really good and the downs are sure disappointing.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
 The #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet of Danica Patrick is towed back to the garage after a last lap accident in the Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway. [Picture Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, poses with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jake Crum, driver of the #01 My Freedom Smokes Chevrolet, and Bryan Silas, driver of the #99 Bell Trucks America Inc. Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The #28 Texas 28 Spirits Stage Dodge, driven by JJ Yeley, is seen after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.